How Long Does It Take a Pecan Tree to Produce?

Pecan trees are a popular choice for homeowners who want to add shade and beauty to their landscape while enjoying the delicious nut they produce. However, many people wonder how long it takes for a pecan tree to produce nuts. In this article, we will explore the different factors that can affect the timeline for a pecan tree to produce nuts and provide insights to help you grow a successful pecan tree.

Factors that Affect Pecan Tree Production

Several factors can influence how long it takes for a pecan tree to produce nuts, including:

Type of Pecan Tree

Different pecan tree varieties have varying maturity periods, with some taking longer than others to produce nuts. For instance, some types of pecan trees, such as Cape Fear, Pawnee, and Kiowa, are considered early-season varieties that typically start producing nuts within four to six years after planting. Meanwhile, other varieties, such as Desirable, Caddo, and Elliot, are mid- to late-season varieties that may take between six and ten years before producing nuts.


The climate of your planting location can significantly impact the growth rate and productivity of your pecan tree. Pecan trees grow best in areas with hot summers and mild winters. For instance, in the southern United States, pecan trees thrive in USDA hardiness zones 6 to 9, where the temperatures range between 65 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the growing season.

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Soil Type and Quality

Pecan trees grow best in well-drained, fertile soils. The soil type and quality in your planting location can affect the rate of growth and productivity of your tree. Pecan trees require soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0 for optimal growth. Soil with a pH above or below this range may inhibit nutrient uptake and reduce the tree’s overall productivity.

Pest and Disease Pressure

Pecan trees are susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases that can affect their growth and productivity. Pests like the pecan weevil and the hickory shuckworm can damage the tree’s nuts and reduce the overall yield. Meanwhile, diseases like pecan scab and bacterial leaf scorch can impact the tree’s growth rate and productivity.

Pecan Tree Growth Timeline

On average, it takes between four and eight years for a pecan tree to start producing nuts. However, this timeline can vary depending on the factors mentioned above. Early-season varieties typically start producing nuts within four to six years after planting, while mid- to late-season varieties may take up to ten years before producing nuts.

In the first year after planting, your pecan tree will focus on establishing its root system and may not produce any nuts. In the second year, the tree may produce a small number of nuts, but the yield will be low. By the third year, your tree’s root system should be well-established, and the tree may produce a more significant number of nuts.

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After the third year, the productivity of your pecan tree should continue to increase until it reaches its peak at around 15 years old. At this point, the tree’s productivity may start to decline gradually. However, with proper care, you can extend the tree’s productive lifespan and continue to enjoy a bountiful harvest for years to come.


Growing a pecan tree can be a rewarding experience, but it requires patience and careful attention to the factors that influence the tree’s growth and productivity. By selecting the right variety, providing optimal growing conditions, and managing pests and diseases, you can ensure that your pecan tree produces a bountiful harvest for years to come. Remember that while it may take several